UNDP and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India have released a “Manual on Hazard Resistant Construction in India” for the non-engineered buildings in July 2008. It is made by Mr. Rajendra Desai (a structural engineer) and Ms. Rupal Desai (an architect) the Joint Directors of National Centre for Peoples’-Action in Disaster Preparedness (NCPDP).
The popular load bearing masonry building systems in different parts of the country are covered in the manual. It covers various hazards in India including those in the Seismic Zones III, IV and V, Wind Speed Zones of 47 to 55 m/second and the areas prone to severe floods. Relevant building codes and guidelines of the Bureau of Indian Standards form the basis for this manual. In addition the two decades of work carried out by the authors focusing on the promotion of suitable building technologies in different parts of the country and on the on-site training of building artisans and engineers, as well as the post disaster assessments of damages in various disasters provide the backbone of this manual. The in-depth documentation of their work provides a huge resource of visuals to tap from for this publication with the main purpose of ensuring effective communication.
The manual would be invaluable to the house designer, field engineers, contractors, site supervisors, literate artisans, and even a potential house owner. It covers not only new construction, but also the repairs and the retrofitting of the existing structures. It also throws light on the critical aspects that must be adhered to in new construction to ensure good performance in a likely disaster. Appropriate visuals have been used to make this manual user-friendly. In the section on repairs of damage and retrofitting of existing buildings, every important aspect has been covered step by step using visuals. Finally, at the end, a small chapter covers the non-engineered RC construction focusing specifically on the most critical aspects of the reinforcement details which too are routinely violated resulting in to much destruction in the event of the earthquake or a cyclone.
It is hoped that this manual will contribute towards ensuring better structural performance in the face of potentially destructive natural hazards, and thus bring safety to the people, rich and poor alike in India.
A copy of the manual could be obtained from UNDP, India while the copies last..